Thanksgiving; A time for family and food! Every year, families come together to create elaborate feasts built on tradition and family memory. Most of us look forward to the time spent with our loved ones, however, our excitement is usually centered around the food. Families work for hours on these feasts and each family can do it a little differently. It goes without saying that we all have a tendency to eat so much that we feel tired and overfull for days after. That’s why, for some, its important to try to be mindful about how much you’re eating on this particular holiday.
Mindful Eating: What is it?
Mindful eating is a practice that focuses on cultivating awareness and attention whilst consuming food. Generally, it involves:
- Being present in the moment.
- Listening to hunger and fullness cues.
- Eating with intention.
- Emotional awareness.
- Balanced and enjoyable eating.
Being present allows you to full enjoy the act of eating. You can really focus on how good the food smells, how it tastes and its texture. Listening to hunger and fullness cues allows you to enjoy without over eating. You eat when you are genuinely hungry and finish when you are comfortably full. Eating with intention means making deliberate foods choices of what and how much to eat. This encourages you to think about what your body needs and to think about the nutritional value of the food you’re enjoying.
Emotional awareness means being aware of how food makes you feel or how certain feelings make you want food. Being bored or stressed can have an impact on most of our food choices. Its important to be mindful of these things to avoid developing unhealthy coping mechanisms. Most of all, Mindful eating is meant to be a balanced and enjoyable way of eating. It does not promote deprivation or strict dieting, but being aware of your approach to eating. Being mindful in your eating approach means you can indulge in treats occasionally and still maintain a relationship with food that is based on overall health and well-being.
Mindful eating: Tips for Healthy eating
Now that you understand Mindful eating, you may be asking “Tom, how do I do that with all of these delicious goodies on the table?” Well, I’m going to show you. It may take a little self control, BUT if you act accordingly you can have your pie….and eat it too.
- Start with a healthy breakfast: Beginning your Thanksgiving day with a nutritious breakfast can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent you from overeating later in the day.
- Stay Active: Try incorporating some sort of physical activity into your Thanksgiving routine. A morning walk, playing a game with your family, or a quick workout can help offset some of the extra calories consumed. Not to mention, make you feel good!
- Hydrate throughout the day: As always, hydration is extremely important. Especially in the case of eating. Sometimes you may feel hungry, but you could be dehydrated. Drinking a glass of water before dinner can help you feel more satisfied.
- Choose lean proteins: Turkey is a Thanksgiving staple and is usually most peoples favorite part. The good news is that its a good source of lean protein and can help you feel full and satisfied. Opt for white meat and no skin to reduce the overall fat content.
- Load up on veggies: Filling your plate with colorful vegetables is a great way to make sure you are getting fiber and micronutrients that help make you feel good! Not to mention, they are usually low in calories and you can eat a lot of it to help keep you satisfied.
- Mindful portions: Instead of adding too much of everything to your plate, take moderate portions instead. Doing so can help you enjoy more different flavors without overeating.
- Limit liquid calories: Be mindful of liquid calories from sugary beverages and alcoholic drinks. Choose water or low calorie drinks.
- Bring a healthy dish: If you’re attending a gathering, consider bringing a healthy dish to share. This ensures that there is at least one nutritious option available and allows you to contribute. Who knows, people may enjoy what you bring so much that you’ll need a Access control system installation to keep them away from your home. By FDC of course.
- Savor desserts in moderation: Thanksgiving desserts are tempting but you can enjoy them in moderation. Choose smaller portions and if possible, opt for the lighter options. If you choose desserts that are fruit based, you can enjoy more of them responsibly.
This Thanksgiving, give Mindful eating a try. With the above mentioned tips, you can enjoy Thanksgiving to the fullest. With Mindful eating you can enjoy a healthier relationship with food that allows you to fully appreciate the Thanksgiving experience without feeling guilty for overindulging. So eat mindfully, and enjoy all of the flavors of Thanksgiving!